Project Toyota Supra MKIV: Part 19 – FIKSE Wheels is back!

Demand for our wheels is worldwide. We ship all the way to Australia, Japan, Malaysia, parts the Middle East, South Africa, Europe especially the Nordic countries (those guys love our wheels). Our largest customer base is North America with the Americans being our largest purchasers. They have a real love for FIKSE Wheels.

Speaking of Amuricans, the high-end muscle car crowd is also well versed when it comes to FIKSEs, as seen with this awesome ’69 Camaro SS sporting a set of its Profil-5 wheels.

PM: What is FIKSE’s plans for the upcoming year and/or short term?

Plans for the upcoming year are to keep growing the brand, to keep expanding into new markets, and to keep delivering a high-quality wheel. We want to get back into supporting racing. As you know, FIKSE has a great championship legacy in Grand American Rolex Series, American Le Mans, Grand American Koni Challenge, as well as multiple wins at the 24 hours of Daytona and Le Mans. Most recently, we were the official wheel for the SVRA in 2018.

Earlier I mentioned the Alex Job Racing 911 GT3 RSR that won the GT3 class at the 24 hours of Le Mans on FIKSE FM-13 wheels, well here she is.

We’re in talks with the International GT series which fits our brand well, due to car manufacturers associated with the series – Porsche, Audi, BMW and/or North American cars. We’re also working with the North American TransAm series to help supply teams with an 18-in three-piece wheel. We see a lot of merit in working with endurance racing organizations like Lucky Dog. We can provide them with a three-piece wheel that would help them with great strength, improved performance, and unmatched reliability. Our wheels can go a long way for a small team with a small budget.

PM: Thank you Mr. Gladstone! Now please excuse me while I go take my Supra out and show off the new wheels. My bad—it’s 5 degrees F and snowing outside, I think I’ll just walk into the garage and gawk at them some more…and also at my next project at the bottom!

Some more FIKSE cred, for fun. Here is the FIKSE-equipped Ganassi Target Lexus-Riley that won the 24 hours of Daytona three years in a row from 2006-2008.
Lastly, did you catch the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona a couple of weeks go? This FIKSE-equipped Ligier JS P320 from Performance Tech Motorsports, and two of the drivers were ages 16- and 19-years old!
So, you’ve made it this far–I commend you. As a reward, you now get to be the first to get a sneak peak at the next project! While I’m glad to say the Supra project is pretty much finished, stay tuned for its rival brother  I adopted last year (hint: it was born the same year). That’s just the type of father I am. Care to take another trip down nostalgia lane with me? This on is a 25-year dream fulfilled. Stay tuned!

AEM Engine Managemenet Systems
FIKSE Wheels
Modified by KC
Precision Turbochargers

Okay if you care to read about my sheer-dumb-luck-as-to-why-I-am-even-here-writing-articles-ever story? It started in the summer of 1996 (remember, no social media). At a movie theater, I ran into an old school mate, Andrew, who was in a particular network-marketing deal, which I quickly got hooked on. His “up-line” was big on BMW M3s, and Andrew–along with a couple of other guys in the group–all drove them. I loved riding in his. Remember how excited I was for the recent E36 M3 launch.

By December 1996 I took delivery of my own ’97 sedan (which was Estoril blue–the same color as Project Supra). I couldn’t believe I had one. To this day that’s the only car I have ever purchased new. By the summer of 1997, I left Southern California to work with his up-line boss in South Bend, IN and St. Joseph, MI. I was 22 years old. The only issue was that I wasn’t enjoying it up there.

Immediately I went to the office, searched out the map of our other offices, and found there was one in Miami–and I’d always wanted to visit there. I immediately looked up the number to an old friend of mine (another Pablo), who I found now lived there. “Bro, I’m coming to stay with you a while, and leaving tomorrow!” So, literally the next day, I packed my near-new M3 full of product and some clothes, and drove south for 21 hours straight. At 22, I loved Miami.

I mentioned earlier the “Storm Warning” feature article in EC that changed my life. Within a month of being there, I drove by a Boston Market and noticed what looked like to be a modified Avus Blue 1995 BMW M3. The “AA Tuning” decal was on the windshield! This had to be the one I saw on the cover of the May 1997 edition of european car Magazine.  I pulled in and hurried inside. Scoping the place out, I tried to stereotype the best I could to find the owner–and there was Enrique with his hat backwards. “Is that yours out there? And is it the same M3 that was on the cover of european car?” He confirmed.

You have to realize, back then I didn’t have a cell phone, and barely any access to the internet since I didn’t have a computer. Coming from California, this was a huge find! I didn’t even know Active Autowerke was in Miami. “Meet me here friday, you can follow me to AA,” Enrique said. Oh man I was so there.

At AA I got to meet brother Karl and Mike Hugh, two unassuming Chinese-Jamaicans that had the passion for turbo power. “Turn up the boost, mon!” I can still here Karl’s cool Jamaican accent to this day. Well, long story short, not only did his cars change my future as mentioned earlier, but Karl also got me in contact with then-EC editor Les Bidrawn. See, you have to understand, back then you couldn’t go find these guys on social media and message them–these guys were like celebrities you couldn’t contact.

In similar fashion, I met the AA/FIKSE-equipped M3’s owner I talked about earlier, my friend Larry, shortly after meeting the AA guys. Again, it was just by chance, and at a gas station in downtown Miami. I recognized the AA badge on his trunk right away and–once again–I couldn’t resist asking about his car. He and I hit it off. Within weeks we were hanging out almost every night, driving up and down I-95 or US-1, just enjoying the rush of that car. Those were good times.

By 1998 I returned to CA to finish college, and upon graduating in 2000 I reached out to EC (it took me four months to get an interview!), and started working there, eventually doing my own project with AA on my 2nd M3 (the FIKSE-equipped black “Vader M3”), followed by this Supra two years later, and the rest is history–and all because of someone I ran into at the movies in ’96. Thanks for letting me reminisce.

Here, I even searched out the original EC cover in my basement. Enrique’s car from the Boston Market was the one in the back, and that’s Karl in the Stage2 turbo company car in the foreground that I got to ride in as well. To say I was hooked on the turbo rush was an understatement. It’s moments like these that–as silly as they sound–change lives. It did mine, and it’s why I’ve got the Supra and Skyline GTR today, along with having met and befriended so many people along the way.


Fikse Wheels


  1. Wow! What a great story and throw back. I remember that black e36 so well and often site it as being the perfect turbo setup at the time for the M3.

    1. Can’t thank you enough for your feedback. With stories like this one tends to wonder if it’s too much for the general audience. I knew for the some of the younger crowd it was going to be, but it meant enough to me that–in hopes of it being for a few others who understand–that I wanted to relive it all, and try to sincerely portray in these pages what I was feeling. And the start of the just-announced GTR R33 project will be very nostalgic for me as well. That should be up any day (already completed the first 3 parts). I’ve really enjoyed these past few weeks of writing, also having not done so in a few years. Thanks Andre!

  2. I like it when wheels serve a purpose other than looking cool.
    Heartwarming to read about the history of FIKSE as I´m also employed in the automotive aftermarket.

  3. Man that is SUCH a throwback! I remember having all those EE and CC magazines. Maybe still have some at my parents house. The first time I saw Fikse wheels was on an FD RX7 built by a renown RX7 tunner, maybe Pettit? They were polished FM5s on a yellow car…gorgeous! I ended up being between Fikses or Kinesis wheels for my ride back them but ended up going with Kinesis K10s.
    Had a bit of a run in with AA back in the day too. I applied for an internship there in college but ended up down the road a ways at Mosler Engineering building the molds/parts for the first MT900s.
    This article definitively brought back a whole lot of memories!

    1. haha, yes! I remember Kinesis, too. It was the Kinesis/Fikse/HRE/Forgeline battle, it seemed. So get this, AA had a customer that needed to get rid of his K20s. Had them for sale, and no one bought them. In his impatience, he asked AA to find someone to straight-up trade them for E36 M3 contour ***stockers***, because he wanted to go back to stock. They called me and I jumped in that car so fast lol. So that’s how I ended up with my Kinesis K20s (on my first Estoril blue M3). They were impeccable, too. Yes, that’ll never happen again. And yes the Moslers (Raptor was it?). That was hot stuff. There’s one I see here in KC a couple times a year.

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